AUBURN — A Poland man charged with his brother’s murder on Thanksgiving Day last year pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday.

Justin Butterfield of Poland appears Tuesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court by video conference from Maine State Prison to plead not guilty by reason of insanity on a murder charge involving the 2022 Thanksgiving slaying of his brother. Screenshot from video

Justin Butterfield, 34, appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court by videoconference from Maine State Prison, where he has been held without bail.

His attorney, Verne Paradie of Lewiston, entered Butterfield’s plea on his behalf.

Butterfield has been charged with intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder in the slaying of his older brother, Gabriel Damour, 38, inside Butterfield’s trailer home at 14 Poplar Drive in Poland on Nov. 24, 2022.

If convicted, he would be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

In January, Butterfield underwent a mental evaluation by a state forensic psychologist to determine whether he was competent to proceed in court with his criminal case.


Paradie said Tuesday that the psychologist’s report indicated Butterfield had “made significant gains since her first meeting with him because of the medication and the treatment he’s receiving at the medical unit at the prison. So, based on her report, it appears that he is competent to at least proceed today.”

He said the same psychologist had been asked to perform an evaluation as to Butterfield’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime in an effort to determine whether he had been suffering from an abnormal condition of mind and, therefore, could not be held criminally responsible for his actions at that time.

Paradie told the judge Tuesday that he hadn’t yet seen a report from the psychologist regarding her determination about whether Butterfield had the state of mind needed at the time of the crime to hold him legally responsible for it.

Butterfield’s neighbors and friends have told the Sun Journal that he has a documented mental illness, was prone to delusions and has been institutionalized before.

Butterfield will continue to be held without bail, Paradie and Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue agreed Tuesday.

Butterfield was found by authorities still inside the home along with Damour’s mutilated body on Thanksgiving Day.

He was reportedly close to his brother and had a good relationship with his own son and daughter.

Those who knew Butterfield also said he could be frightening and dangerous when off his psychiatric medication.

They said his mental health had begun to deteriorate about four years ago.

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